Hello and Welcome!

I am, and always have been, a notoriously bad blogger. But I'm back to give it another try, one more time.

I seem to have rediscovered my "pep" in recent times, and I'm ready to try some new things, and get back into the things that matter to me... at this stage, this chiefly involves getting fit and losing weight (again!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pre holiday update

That's right ladies and gents, it's 2 days before I am flying away into the sunrise for 10 days in Bali. I don't actually know how good the holiday will be (my dad is a bit of a handful these days and it will probably make for some trying times), but I couldn't care less at this point. As long as I'm not in this office and not in my daily routine, I'm happy. When I think about it, it's been about 6 months since I had a day off work, so no wonder I'm over it. I really need to schedule in a couple of R&R/mental health days in from time to time, to stop me getting to this CBF stage.

Anyways, I'm not sure there's really a lot to report sadly. Official times are still not up from the Glenelg Classic which is giving me the irrits. I think it's because they buggered up the course (even worse than I first knew), and so people have run different distances, which makes sorting out the placings a bit hard. Apparently some of the frontrunners ended up doing like 13km or something, because some marshalls didn't turn up and the lead cyclist went the wrong way. Awesome planning guys.

I pulled up slightly sore in the legs after Sunday, but nothing too excrutiating. I had boot camp on Monday, which was a pretty good session - lots of circuit work and introducing power bands and kettle bells, made things a little more interesting. I piked on my boxing class on Monday night though. In all truth I really could have gone, I wasn't that sore. I just didn't want to. I needed some down time, so I spent the night downloading music and fiddling with the play lists on my ipod for the holiday. Very therapeutic.

Tuesday I did the cycle-commute, just the standard 15km each way with no add ons this week. I felt a bit fatigued, particularly on the way home, but the calorie count was actually pretty low. I think I'm just fatigued in general so everything is a bit of a struggle.

This morning was my last boot camp session. Can anyone say running? The lead instructor started off by saying it would be an easier session today, but perhaps he should have said that to the new recruits instructor. My HRM showed 700 calories for the session (including the jog to and from, but still) - this is the biggest session I had all camp. Running/stop for squats or pushups or whatever/running. More running. More shuttle runs. More running. Lucky all the girly girls who cried over being told to run have already quit, there would have been hyperventilation everywhere.

So bootcamp is done and dusted. An interesting experiment and I did enjoy having the structure of it in my workout routine. Chances of me getting up at 5am to do my own exercise... pretty low. But I had very little trouble doing it for a planned session. I've also taken away some technique tips on running, which I'm trying to incorporate gradually into my running style. Having said that, I can't see myself doing another camp - it's just too expensive for me. I'll have to figure out a new routine for myself after holidays. Of course, if I decide to go ahead with training for a HM in May, it will just be a lot of running and 2 cross training sessions a week. Still not sure if I've got the balls to go for that yet though lol.

The agenda for today is to try and actually pump out some work, but I don't like my chances much. I'm just over it, over it, over it. Having a boss who is never in the office and is completely unaware of what I do with my day has its costs and benefits at times - when I'm remotely motivated, it's awesome not to have someone breathing down your neck and making revolting demands. But when I'm at the seriously CBF stage, there's nothing to push me along in the right direction. Sigh, some people are never happy.

Something I haven't posted about much recently is eating/diet. I've been a bit hit and miss with it. Sometimes really really good, but I've had a couple of bad sessions in there too. I'm really a bit lost with figuring out how much to eat at the moment. With the current exercise schedule I'm feeling too tired and braindead on 1500 calories, but I'm not really a believer in "eating back" exercise calories. It doesn't help that my head is broken. Years of yo-yo dieting and calorie obsession have left me somewhat scarred, and the thought of regularly eating at 1800 kinda freaks me out. Maybe I'll try for 1650 for a while (after holidays, when I won't be counting because it's impossible to figure out what they put in food when you're eating "out" every day, just gonna be as sensible as possible), maybe boost up to 1700 or 1750 when I'm a bit more settled with that. FFS, weight control is so much more about the mind than it is about hunger.

OK, I'm signing off. Chances are I won't update again until after the holiday, so have a lovely couple of weeks everyone :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Race report!

I am here, proud to report that I have survived the Glenelg Classic fun run 2010!

The lead up was a bit iffy - I ate badly yesterday (well, very badly actually. WTF was I thinking doing a pile of baking when hormonal and hungry? Seriously.) I went to bed too late and didn't sleep well. I was kinda disorganised too, I didn't know exactly where I had to go for the start of the race until this morning. Oh, and the pants I wanted to wear (because they have good zip pockets for my ipod and car key) didn't get dry in time, so I had a change of wardrobe decision at the last minute.

Despite the dodgy lead up, the race went surprisingly well. I left home about 6.30 and got to the meeting point in plenty of time, about 50 minutes before race time. I had a wander around, did a few stretches, got intimidated by all the super-runners around. After a while I settled down and looked for people who perhaps looked not quite so fit, and convinced myself that I could beat at least one of them. I really really didn't want to come last.

10 minutes before start time, someone on a microphone started talking, but I couldn't understand a word - it was a really crappy sound system they had happening. People started walking up the street, so I did the sheep thing and followed them, assuming we were headed for the start line. We stood around for a while longer, the microphone woman started up again, and all of a sudden people started running - I guess it's start time then!

I did really well with staying to my plan at the start of the race. People everywhere were taking off very fast, but I made sure I kept the pace moderate and kept looking at my watch to make sure my heart rate was staying in the 140's. I think we had only gone about 1km when a few people started to walk, puffing like crazy, so I'm thinking maybe they should have moderated their start a little too.

I found a rhythm pretty quickly today, and for a lot of the race I felt pretty good. It was slightly demoralising to see some of the elite runners coming back the other way (it was an out and back loop course) when I was only at about 3.5km or something, but I kept plugging away at it. My heart rate hit the 150's about the 4 or 5k mark and stayed there, but I was still feeling good, so I'll know for future events that I can sustain that level without tiring too quickly. I paced myself with several other runners who were ahead of me, and managed to catch and pass the majority of them, which is always a nice feeling.

Over the course of the race, I distracted myself by thinking about what goals I wanted to achieve (OK this might have been a rather late time to be thinking about race goals, but better late than never). Before I started, my goals were to run the whole way, and not come last. It became apparent fairly early on that I wouldn't come last, so then I decided I'd like to not be last in my age group. I don't know whether I achieved this or not, I'll check when the times are posted on the website, but I'm pretty sure I will have succeeded with that. I also thought I'd like to finish within 65 minutes for the 10km.

Now I didn't achieve the time goal - I think my time will be around 1:08:30. However, in the aftermath of the race, it was revealed that they stuffed up the course and sent us along too far along one road before doubling back, so the course was actually 10.95km. Hearing that, I was absolutely stoked. I would have smashed my 65 minute goal... and not only can I run 10km, I can run 11!

So all in all, a successful day out. I'm a bit tired, but I'm also really excited about training for more events next year. My next planned outing is the resolution run on 9th January, which is 7km around the Torrens. It could be pretty hot for that one, but otherwise it shouldn't be too tough. There's a 10km Dolphin Run in February. I can't remember what happens after that, but I'll post my 2011 race plans some time soon.

Just a quick shout out to Jess - thinking of you in your race today, and look forward to hearing the full report soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doing the Friday Dance

It's Friday, huzzah! My last Friday at work before holidays - I always love doing that countdown of the last Friday, Monday, Tuesday... before going away. I haven't organised a single thing for going away, nor is my work up to the stage it needs to be before I go, but I couldn't give two hoots right now. I'm going and I just don't care!

So it's been a kind of emotionally draining week at the grindstone, but things are looking up. We seem to have come to an uncomfortable truce in the work war zone, and I'll settle for that, given where things were at early in the week. Bastard isn't usually in on Fridays or Mondays, so all being well I'll only have to see him three more days before I go away, and then for a week or two when I get back. This seems a bit more manageable than it did from the chaos at the start of the week. Now if I can actually get some work done, all will be relatively well on the work front.

On the exercise front, it's been a big week. I'm feeling slightly dazed and dopey now, so I think this is the maximum effort for the time being. Or maybe I should try getting into bed earlier and stop fiddling with my iPhone once I'm there - that might help. Anyway, the Polar is showing a calorie burn of 3739 for the week so far. This is from 3 bootcamps, 1 boxing class, a cycle commute (including an extra loop on the way home), and a 6km run.

My run last night was hard, hard, hard. I shouldn't be surprised though - I was tired, my legs were a bit sore, and it was hot. Not middle-of-summer-in-Adelaide hot, but 29 and humid, which we haven't had much of yet. I'm extremely grateful that the weather forecast is for cool conditions on Sunday for my 10k. If it was hot and humid I really don't think I'd last the distance (I'm concerned about it even in the cool), I was completely spent at the end of 6k last night.

It was still 27 degrees when I got up at 5 for bootcamp this morning, but it looks like the cool change will be coming through shortly. There were so many damn flies this morning, it was disgusting. The stupid things kept trying to get in my ears and mouth while I was doing all manner of torturous activities in the bootcamp circuits (squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups, sprints, burpees, bear crawls, mountain climbers... few others I've managed to block from my memory).

I've only got 2 more bootcamps left now. I'll have to give some thought while I'm on holiday to what my training plan will look like when I get back into it in December. Back to more gym classes I guess. I downloaded a HM training program the other day, and I am giving serious consideration to attempting one next year. The Greenbelt HM is on 1st May, so I could start a 12 week HM training program in February and see if I can do it. There are other HMs in August and October as well, so if I find the training too hard going in the heat, I can always defer and try one of the later ones. I can't believe I'm talking about a HM in the same post as saying I don't think I can make my 10k on the weekend. What a contradiction. It's nice to have goals though :)

As far as weekend plans go, tomorrow is most definitely an exercise free day. I've got lots of "stuff" I need to do - bake a birthday cake for my Pa, cleaning washing and packing ready for holidays, and... crap, I had a long list of stuff I wanted to do and I've already forgotten it. I really need to write this stuff down. Saturday night we're going out for Pa's birthday (I'll be carb loading on pasta! Any excuse.) Sunday morning is the big run, then more housey stuff, then dinner at the parents. I probably won't see the puppies again before we go away, so I'll have to give them extra love and cuddles and walkies on Sunday.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone :0)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking for ideas on how to murder someone and not get caught

Howdy peeps, it's been a while. Where to start, where to start? Best start with the title of the blog I suppose.


Onto happier thoughts - I haven't been on the scales, but I'm actually tempted to get on (for the first time in a looooong time). I feel like I've lost quite a bit the last couple of weeks, my clothes are feeling looser and I'm just feeling better about myself. Still a long way to go, but feeling good nonetheless. The pants I'm wearing today were uncomfortably tight in the waist and legs before, but they are now a little too loose. I might have to start going through my packaged up smaller clothes soon, that will be awesome :)

On the exercise front, I did very little on the weekend. I took the dogs for a couple of small walks (one of which resulted in the pug collapsing under a tree 3/4 of the way home and me having to carry him, so I guess there was some incidental weight training there too!) I also spent a few hours in the garden, planting my hedge, fertilising the vegies and roses, doing some weeding. I was busy most of the weekend, just not with dedicated exercise. I'm OK with that, as I did have a big week of it and I was ready for the rest time.

This week so far has seen one boot camp (which has really ramped up now and is challenging), one boxing class, and a ride to work today. Obviously I'll be riding home tonight (beats walking), then there's boot camp on Wednesday and Friday. I'm thinking of a run on Thursday. Saturday might be a rest day, then I've got my 10k fun run on Sunday morning. I hope I can make the distance, I'm starting to feel nervous about it now. Still, if worst comes to worst and I have to walk part of the race, this is not the end of the world. It will give me something to work on for the next race.

I wish I had more boxing classes this week, I have a lot more frustration I need to unload...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Renovations and punctures

Here we are at Thursday morning, procrastinating about getting into the work on my desk. It's like groundhog day - I do this every day! I really just need to clear out this old crap that I hate working on, get it done, then I can move onto something a little more palatable.

It's all systems go on the home renovation front this week. The roller shutters went up on Tuesday, and they look great. I've got them all pretty much down at the moment, just cos I like to look at them, but they do make the place rather dark. So I think on the weekend I'll open them up and light up the house while I still can - before it gets stinking hot and I have them closed all the time to keep the cool air in. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much difference it makes to the upstairs temperature come summer time. Last summer I could get about 3/4 of the way upstairs and feel a heat wave hit me. As my bedroom is upstairs, this was a most unsatisfactory state of affairs. Here's hoping ($4500 later) that I have gone a good way to resolving that issue.

The paving man came around and gave me a quote on Tuesday too - also more than I wanted to spend, but I liked him and he seemed to know what he was talking about. He rung me yesterday and said they could start my job today if I had decided whether I wanted to proceed. So on a whim I signed up for another $4000 of expenditure on this damn house. It will be excellent to have the dead lawn area paved and useable for the warmer months though.

And lastly on the renovation front, my verandah man called to say that he had got the approval from my soon-to-be neighbours for the verandah I want to put up (it's going along the fence boundary at one side, so the council required signed approval from the neighbours... wouldn't have been such a headache if their house was actually finished and they were living in it. We had to track them down at their current address to get the approval. Fortunately they couldn't care less about the verandah and were happy to sign on the dotted line). So that has gone back to council, and we should have formal approval by next week, then construction can be done in December. With the exception of a side garden bed which I'm going to do myself, the whole yard (front and back) will be all done by the beginning of December. How exciting. OK, it will have taken me a whole 12 months since I moved in, but I am nevertheless still very excited by this outcome.

Onto all things diet and exercise related. I'm pretty tired, but the exercise has been going well this week. Since my last blog, I've done an 8km run (50 minutes and felt pretty good, apart from one mofo hill), Wednesday bootcamp (starting to enjoy these now, getting harder), and a cycle to work this morning. All good, except for the flat tyre I got this morning, grr. I'll have to borrow a car and take it to the bike shop at lunch and get it fixed, so I can ride it home. Getting to work took me about 1 hour and 5 this morning, instead of 40-45 minutes, seeing as I had to walk, pushing a bike, for a few km. Such is life. Anyway, with a cycle home tonight and bootcamp tomorrow morning, my calorie burn for the week should be over 3500. If I feel the need to do anything on the weekend I will, but if I feel like just resting up (and taking my dad out, and shopping, and basketball... all the weekendy type stuff), then I'll do that too with no guilt whatsoever.

My bootcamp people have given us all sorts of vouchers for referrals to allied health people that they have teamed up with. I've decided against the podiatrist (who used to be a client at my accounting firm... could be awkward). I'm giving some thought to the chiropractor (www.drbretthill.com) as I do need a new one - his website looks kind of interesting, he's into a lot more than just chiropractic. Maybe I could see him for a "wellness" consultation too. I just hate seeing new medical people, I find it so uncomfortable. Time to suck it up I suspect. The other voucher I have is for a fitness assessment, nutrition consult and 1/2 hour PT session for $30. I don't know whether to do this or not - I'm concerned that it will just be a big sales pitch, and there's no way that I would be signing up for regular PT sessions there (it's on the wrong side of town for me, and I just can't justify the cost at this stage). I don't know, I'm so indecisive.

Anyways, time to get into this revolting project on my desk. Hope everyone else's day is starting better than mine!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Working from home

I'm working from home today. I have been very much looking forward to this, just a day out of the office and the stream of people at the door asking damn fool questions that they could answer themselves if they actually stopped and thought for a minute. A day of getting up and dressing in trackies and a jumper. Not sure how much work is going to get done here, but hey, we'll see how we go.

There is actually a reason for working from home - my roller shutters are going up today, hooray! Mind you it does sound a little like a construction site here, so concentration may not be at its optimal level for the day. Someone is currently drilling a hole in my brick wall, lovely sounds.

So what's been happening since my last confession (I mean, blog)? Well, there was the weekend, and that in truth is a confession rather than a blog. I skipped the gym on Saturday, but I'm ok with that. I was tired and sore, and mentally just a bit run down after a big week. I was awake early on Saturday, but I stayed in bed and read for a while, and pottered about the house for half the day, not really achieving a whole lot but getting some peace and sanity back. I went up to the shops for a couple of hours and picked up a few bits and pieces. It's time to start looking for Christmas presents already, so there will be plenty of mindless shop wandering in my future I fear. On the whole Saturday was ok, a bit slothful, but therapeutic nonetheless.

Sunday was not so therapeutic. I had planned a run, which didn't happen. I had not planned to eat half the ingredients of my baking, which did happen. Yep, seriously not ideal, but I've come to terms with it and moved on. I did exhibit some binging behaviour, which is always a worry with where I've been in the last couple of years. But I did it pretty mindfully, and I reigned it in at a single "meal", and didn't keep on for the whole day (or week, or month...) It did bring to the forefront something that I really still need to work on though - I eat to finish things. I've half eaten that packet, so I might as well finish it off. I've started now, I might as well keep going. That is not a healthy view on things, and I need to work on strategies to mitigate this behaviour. I have read blogs where people have put dishwashing liquid on food they might be tempted to eat before throwing it in the bin. That's a possibility!

Anyway, moving on. Monday yesterday, and the beginning of a new week of damn early mornings. It started with boot camp, which is really starting to fire up now, which is good. I'm not sure I much appreciated the bare foot running component of the session, given it was 5 degrees at the time... but we all lived through it with no frostbite involved. There were lots of squats, lunges and push ups and other little drills to keep us occupied. No situps and that type of thing, seeing as the ground was really wet. I'm sure that joy will be waiting for us later in the week.

On to Monday night, where I very nearly managed to talk myself out of going to boxing, but eventually sucked it up and went anyway. I'm really starting to enjoy these sessions - they're not big calorie burners (I guess because you spend a bit of time holding mits and bags for other people), but they're really varied and interesting. My skipping is improving a lot, and the ability to punch the crap out a bag and imagine annoying people's faces on the bag at the time is quite an enjoyable experience.

The boxing session finished at 8.10, and I realised I had left my phone at work, which really p'd me off. Normally I would have left it, but as I'm not at work today (and I don't have a home phone for people to contact me), I had to go back in and get it. Bloody annoying. So I didn't get home til close to 9, and just raided the fridge for the easiest thing I could get my hands on. Left over roast pork, and fresh pineapple. Weird meal, but it works. I stayed up pretty late, watching crap on tv and flicking around on the net, so there was no early start for me today. I will try to get out for a run in the late arvo though.

On a final point, I got on the scales this morning. A most pleasing 90.8kg greeted me, so 4.5kg down in the last month. I should be able to smash the 90 by the time we head to Bali in 18 days, will probably look to maintain for the 10 days away, and then get back into it on my return. Bring on the 80's (and 70's... but one step at a time).